Determining Fault After an Accident

After a car accident, it’s important to figure out which driver was at-fault. However, many people struggle with this. There’s a lot at stake, so it’s important to understand how fault works. Find out everything you need to know about determining fault after an accident.

Who is responsible for determining fault?

When you have a car accident, your insurance company is responsible for determining fault. However, they don’t do it all on their own. They usually use claims adjusters to figure out who is responsible for the accident. In certain situations, they may rely on no-doubt liability to determine fault.

When your insurance company gets your accident report, they find a claims adjuster to handle your case. The adjuster is the one who determines who takes the blame for the car accident. Usually, they work with other professionals to examine all the evidence from your accident. They look into details like your medical records, photos from the scene, witness testimonies, and police reports. Once they examine all the information, the claims adjuster makes a decision.

Understanding No-doubt Liability

In some car accidents, no-doubt liability is the key to determining fault. There are some accidents that make deciding liability simple. In no-doubt accidents, there is almost no way to argue that one driver was not at-fault. The circumstances of the accident put all the blame on their shoulders. Generally, these types of accidents result in a quick settlement.

Only a few scenarios qualify for no-doubt liability. Here are a few examples:

1. A rear-end collision

If a driver hits you from behind, the accident is a rear-end collision. In almost all rear-end collisions, the driver who impacted from behind is responsible for the accident. The only way out of no-fault liability is carelessness. For example, a failure to have working brake lights could take the fault away from the other driver.

2. A left-turn accident

If someone makes a left turn and there is an accident, they usually take the blame for the accident. Much like a rear-end collision, the only way out of no-fault liability is to prove carelessness on the part of the other driver. Carelessness could qualify as driving over the speed limit or going through a red light. In most other cases, the driver making the left turn is responsible for the crash.

3. DUIs

Any drunk driver takes responsibility for a car accident. In every one of the US states, drunk driving is illegal. For that reason, drunk driving is enough to make you the at-fault driver. When determining fault, a DUI is a major red flag for an insurance company.

Other Important Factors

Some accidents don’t involve non-doubt liability. Cases like these take a little more research. There are a few factors that can make it easier to find out who is at fault. When determining fault, a claims adjuster or insurance company consider these factors:

Traffic Laws

Any person who violates traffic laws could be held responsible for a car accident. In your accident claim, the adjuster will try to determine whether either driver broke any traffic laws. Sometimes, a driver openly admits to breaking a traffic law. In other cases, a witness admits to seeing one driver break a traffic law. With some research, the adjuster may be able to figure out who broke traffic laws and which laws they broke. This can help them determine who should be held responsible for the accident.

Negligence

Another major factor in determining fault is negligence. Often, a negligent driver is the one who takes the blame for an accident. If you can prove that the other driver was negligent, you might have a strong case against them.

Showing negligence is more difficult than proving that a driver broke a traffic law. There are several different types of negligence, and none of them are easy to prove. If you want to prove negligence, you need an experienced lawyer to stand up for you. Here are a few common types of negligence:

1. Contributory Negligence

In this type of negligence, you must take no blame for the accident. In addition, you need to be able to prove that the other driver takes all the blame.

2. Comparative Negligence

This type of negligence acknowledges that you take some fault for the accident. There needs to be a percentage of fault that you take, and a percentage of fault that the other driver takes. In a comparative negligence claim, the damages that you get relate to your percentage of fault. The less fault you have, the more money you get.

3. Modified Comparative Negligence

In this type of negligence claim, you can get damages that relate to your percentage of fault. However, there is a limit to those damages. That limit depends on your percentage of fault.

If determining fault sounds challenging, that’s because it is challenging. You may need the help of a lawyer to find out who deserves the blame in your car accident claim.